In My Opinion

Miami miserable? Ponder that with a mojito on the bay

We’re the worst. Among the worst. In the bottom 10, anyway. Or the lowliest 20. Or down in the dregs with the 100 most pathetic towns in the nation.

Never mind the sun reflecting off the bay on a 73-degree day in December, or the lingering afterglow of the book fair and Art Basel, or that tourists are pouring in from higher ranked places, the arbiters of ignominious listings have decided. We’re highly ranked as dangerous, angry, reckless, inept, wheezy, irritable, stressed and bedbug infested.

Forbes inserted data into the so-called “misery index,” created back in the 1960s by an economist who failed to factor in the mojito effect. “Add it all up and Miami takes the top spot in our ranking of America’s Most Miserable Cities,” Forbes declared last year, deciding we had beaten runners-up Detroit and Flint, Mich. — which explains why so many Christmas vacationers have forsaken Miami for the Motel 6 in Flint.

A Slate “investigation” declared Miami No. 1 and Hialeah No. 3 when it comes to lousy drivers, noting Miami ranked: “First in automobile fatalities, first in pedestrian strikes, first in the obscenity-laced tirades against their fellow drivers.”

Men’s Health declared Miami 99th out of 100 major cities as the “best (and worst) places to raise a family.” It gets worse. Something called 24/7 Wall St. not only ranked Miami as the second-worst run city in the U.S., but the “Number One worst city in the whole USA.”

In August,, without consulting the New England Patriots, put Miami pro football fans at 29th in a list of “most engaged fans.” We were ranked as the 12th worst city for Fourth of July celebrations; second in stress; 30th for ragweed allergies.

Last year, Terminex listed the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region the 14th worst in bedbug infestation, which seems pretty subjective. We can’t count our human residents. Who the hell can keep track of teensy bugs?

Speaking of subjective, GQ ranked Miami the ninth worst-dressed city, confusing the mainland city with those yahoos across the bay. “So many South Beach dudes look like they’re between shifts at Night Train.” Yet, Travel & Leisure reported Wednesday that a readers poll voted Miami “home to the most beautiful people in America,” adding that Miamians “were also in the top 10 for their fashion sense and fit physiques, although they also ranked as being among the most aloof.”

If I wasn’t so aloof, strutting about in my glorious Night Train attire, I’d shout, “Take that, GQ!”

We have other great rankings to throw back at Miami haters. The Keller Fay Group just declared Miami third among the “most talkative cities” (with residents averaging 93 conversations a week). declared Miami Beach No. 1 in tattoos and Miami seventh best in good hair days. A survey of 1,159 men by Harris Interactive ranked Miami behind only Jacksonville as “the best place in America for regenerating locks.”

So what if we can’t drive. We can sprout new hair. And can talk about it 93 times before Christmas.

Read more Fred Grimm stories from the Miami Herald

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